Island by Alistair MacLeod
The Complete Stories

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Synopsis

Sixteen spare, evocative masterworks: men and women acting out their own peculiar mortality against the unforgiving landscape of Cape Breton Island.

Until the recent publication of Alistair MacLeod's first novel, No Great Mischief, his reputation as one of Canada's most important writers rested entirely on the stories collected in this book, and on this basis he was included in the Modern Library's 200 greatest writers in English since 1950.

These stories are about death, family ties, and the pull of traditions transplanted from Scotland to a harsh New World. Reviewing MacLeod in the New York Times, Louise Erdrich wrote, "the young eventually realize that though they speak English, the old language [Gaelic] is internalized, that the sound and meaning of it rise to haunt them in the same way that the ancient mythologies and superstitions, spun through generations, exert an ineluctable hold."

Joyce Carol Oates gives us a precise image of the experience of reading these stories: "that sudden feeling of insecurity that comes to a traveler in unmapped country; a sense of immediacy, cinematic in its vividness."
 

About Alistair MacLeod

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Alistair MacLeod was raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and teaches at the University of Windsor, Ontario. He lives in Canada.
 
Published January 1, 2000 by McClelland and Stewart. 434 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Island

Kirkus Reviews

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Like the poignant lament of a Scottish piper, this first collection by the acclaimed Canadian writer (No Great Mischief, p. 410) details the bittersweet lives of the Highlanders and their descendants who settled on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Island: The Complete Stories

Publishers Weekly

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HCollected in one edition for the first time, the 16 short stories of Canadian writer MacLeod (No Great Mischief) span 30 years of his career and brilliantly evoke the lives of the people of his nativ

Feb 26 2001 | Read Full Review of Island: The Complete Stories

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Jan 01 2001 | Read Full Review of Island: The Complete Stories

CBC News

We get a review of the show's recent whistle stop in Halifax, and talk to people there about 2014.

Oct 31 2013 | Read Full Review of Island: The Complete Stories

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